Humane unveils 'iPhone killer'

The AI Pin is finally here

Former Apple interface expert Imran Chaudhri had a lot to do with the design of the original iPhone and subsequent iterations.

But he feels guilty about it. He’s not happy that many of us are now addicted to our screens.

In 2016 he left Apple and launched a startup with his wife, Bethany Bongiorno, a product manager he met at Apple. Their ambition: to supersede the monster they’d helped create.

They raised millions of dollars, attracted stellar talent, and now, after months of hype, they’ve revealed the Humane AI Pin — a $700 battery-powered device (plus subscription) that attaches magnetically to your clothes. The primary interface is chat — you mostly talk to it.

A lot of people — including me — are highly skeptical. It seems like there’s a good chance it will never take off. Unlike Chaudhri, most people like their iPhones and are in no hurry to replace them.

On the other hand, I also like talking to my gadgets.

Voice interaction with computers is clearly here to stay, and will only become more pervasive.

I haven’t used a screen to play music for a long time. Barking at my HomePod is natural and works.

So maybe there is a future for the Humane Pin, perhaps as an iPhone companion device. We’ll see in upcoming months. Take the poll below — are any of you guys going to buy it?

Also in today’s newsletter:

  • Check out some of the great photographs taken on iPhone that are featured in a new exhibit in Paris.

  • Talking of photos — making stickers from your own snaps is a great way to send funny visual reactions and jokes in texts and group chats. Here’s how to get started.

  • The upcoming WWII drama Masters of the Air from Tom Hanks and co. looks pretty good. Check out the new trailer.

  • The popular Backbone One game controller has been updated with USB-C for the iPhone 15. It’s great for playing mobile games.

  • And talking of the iPhone 15 — Laut makes some really nice and attractive cases for it. Here are some highlights of Laut’s collection on the Cult of Mac Store.

  • We have a good deal on PDF Expert for Mac, an award-winning and highly-rated PDF editor that we all like here at Cult of Mac.

  • In the X (Twitter) section below, there’s a thread of actually useful home automations — like an outdoor bulb that glows green or red according to sun safety readings, indicating if you need sunscreen or not. Reading it made me tempted to get into home automation for the first time: lots of great ideas.

— Leander Kahney, EIC.

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One more thing ...

I discovered that the best innovation is sometimes the company, the way you organize a company. The whole notion of how you build a company is fascinating.

— Steve Jobs, 2011.

Today’s poll

Are you going to buy Humane's AI Pin?

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Results from yesterday’s poll: Do you use an Apple Pencil or other stylus?

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